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Paul R. Hinzmann

December 6, 2012
The Daily Mining Gazette

HANCOCK - Paul Revere Hinzmann, professor emeritus, who lived almost a century and was the oldest living member of the First United Methodist Church in Hancock died on Nov. 30, 2012, at the Clark Retirement Home in Grand Rapids, Mich. He was 99 and a half years old.

His life began on May 23, 1913, in Tipton, Mich., the son of Walter Theodore Hinzmann and Lulu Adele Shirk Hinzmann. His early childhood was spent in Michigan (Tipton and Laingsburg), where his father was a Congregrational Minister and in Brokensward, Ohio. His later childhood was spent in Cole Camp and Pierce City, Miss. until their father's medical problems forced the family to move back to Cleveland, Ohio in 1922. From age 10 until finishing college, Paul lived in the Cleveland and Lakewood, Ohio area. He graduated from Lakewood High School in 1931, and began his studies at Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve), from which he graduated in 1935 with a physics major. It was a special occasion in 2005 when he was able to be present for his 70th college reunion at Case.

With a strong drive to do well in his studies, he continued on at the University of Michigan to obtain a Master's Degree in Education and a teaching certificate in 1936. He then began a teaching career which encompassed the rest of his life. In 1936-37 he taught General Shop and General Science in Armada, Mich. From 1937-1940, he taught General Shop, Physics, and Chemistry in Milford, Mich.

In those years, he met a young woman in Milford, Elsie Cevilla Feigley, who became his wife on Sept. 13, 1941. During the years of 1940-1946, he worked at the General Motors Diesel Plant in Redford, Mich., was a Radio Inspector for the U.S. Communications Commission and worked as a project engineer for the General Motors Proving Ground in Milford.

After WWII ended, he took a teaching job in Des Plaines (Maine Township High School), Ill., in their electric shop.

In 1946, he became aware of a physics position at what was then Michigan College of Mining and Technology. The family of four moved to Hancock when he was offered a job at Michigan Tech. He remained on the faculty of Michigan Tech (now Michigan Technological University) until Jan. 1977. He loved the enthusiasm of young people and patiently taught them. Besides teaching physics, he also was a photographer for the college for many years. He excelled at black and white pictures and developed his own photos for many years. His interest in photography led him to some commercial photography work with Herman Gundlach Construction Company in Houghton, where he recorded the progress of the company's many projects. He also traveled the country taking photos for the American Bridge Division of US Steel.

After retirement, his many interests and activites included Golden Kiwanis Club, the Isle Royale Nature History Assn. (now Isle Royal & Keweenaw Parks Assoc.), of which he served as president and on the board for a number of years, the Boy Scouts in the area, doing programs for the Summer Youth Program at Michigan Tech, and also going into schools to present programs on being a safe and responsible driver. He was also an active member of the Houghton Keweenaw Chapter of the MARSP (Michgan Assocation of Retired School Personnel).

Paul loved the out-of-doors, canoeing on Isle Royale, the Boundary waters, and Quetico, doing every type of project at their cottage in Grosse Pointe Shores, near Dollar Bay, visiting Isle Royale and doing activites with his grandsons and granddaughter.

He had a most gregarious personality and loved meeting and talking with people. He was very adept with his hands and could fix or find a solution for almost any type of problem or project.

For a number of years after retirement, he also provided care for his older brother, Alvin.

Paul was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Alvin and Wade.

He is survived by his wife of 71 years, Elsie (Feigley) Hinzmann; and his children, Georgia (Hugh) Makens of Grand Rapids, Mich. and Vincent (Nancy) Hinzmann of Milford, Mich; his three grandchildren, Craig (Sarah Cheney) Makens of Houghton, Brett (Sarah) Makens of Tallinn, Estonia and Sandi (Todd) Marvar of Pleasant Ridge, Mich; and five great grandchildren, Elise Cheney Makens, Hadley, Finnia, and Padrig Makens and Harper Marvar. Also surviving are a sister-in-law, Margery Feigley; a brother-in-law, Merlin Feigley; and loving nieces and nephews, Deborah Saptuo, Dale (Sherry) Feigley, Donald (Tama) Feigley, Dorothy Magyari, Doreen (Darryl) Kettle, and Michael Feigley, all of Milford, Mich., Gary Hinzmann of Westerville, Ohio.

Paul wishes his body to be donated to science with the MSU Medical School being the recipient.

A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Hancock on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, at 2:30 p.m. with Rev. Amy Terhune to officiate.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 401 Quincy Street, Hancock, Michigan 49930 ( or Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Assn., 800 E. Lakeshore Dr., Houghton, Michigan 49931 ( or the Kellogg Youth Endowment Fund of the Keweenaw Community Foundation, 236 Quincy St., Hancock, Michigan 49930 (, or an organization of your choice.

Arrangements are being handled by the O'Neill-Dennis Funeral Home in Hancock.



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